Fiddlin' Around. The violin has a long and prominent tradition in jazz, starting with the swing of Stuff Smith through the fusion of Michael Urbaniak. Svend Asmussen shares the page in the jazz style book between Smith and Stephane Grappelli. He recorded his first sides in 1935 and became widely popular in his native Denmark. He recorded with Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, John Lewis, Toots Theilemans and Lionel Hampton. This present disc finds Asmussen captured live with his quartet in 1996. The then 80 year old was quite spry.
dacapo. Fit as a Fiddle was released by decapo records in 1997. Decapo records is a division of Naxos International, specializing in Scandanavian music and music made by Scandanavians. Dacapo Jazz specifically records Danish musicians. The label boasts many releases from the very fine Danish Radio Big Band and, of course, the ever-present NHØP.
Urbane Creativity. This is one of the most listener friendly jazz violin discs I have ever heard. Asmussen rises to all occasions, playing fast Bebop on the disc opener, "Running Wild" or gently caressing a ballad as in "I Loves You Porgy" (a disc highlight) or "Prelude to a Kiss". Asmussen's duet with Jacob Fischer playing slide guitar on"The Mooch" is slinky sensuous. Asmussen displays some pretty swift double-stop playing on his own "Take Off Blues" and a bit of the old country feel on "Columbine Polka Mazurka".
Fit as a Fiddle is straight down the middle, swinging, jazz propelled by a guitar trio supporting ajazz violin master who should be better known on this side of the pond. Another feather in the cap of Naxos International
Track Listing: Running Wild, Bye Bye Blackbird, Take Off Blues, I Loves You Porgy, Wrapping It Up, Groove Merchant, Latino, Columbine Polka Mazurka, The Mooch, Prelude to a Kiss, Night In Tunsia.
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me. As a life-long jazz lover, I eventually became a jazz educator and producer/host of a very popular jazz radio program in Los Angeles, California.
I love jazz because it is so free. I can think, feel, and dream to jazz, and it allows my mind to flow and expand, musically and otherwise. I also love jazz because it, much like other forms of music, allows opportunities to bring people from all walks of life together. What makes jazz more significant to me, though, is its historical significance; that is, how jazz served, in part, as a method of bringing communities together, a cultural/social/spiritual conduit.